Kwacha depreciation negatively impacting local MSME’s – Silavwe
By NATION REPORTER
THE continuous free falling depreciation of the Kwacha against major convertibles is quickly turning into a serious business nightmare. It is increasingly becoming expensive to run a local business, Golden Party president Jackson Silavwe has said.
Mr Silavwe said this trend was negatively affecting the business environment at both local small and medium levels in an import based economy, compounded by the fact that Zambia’s economy is consumer based.
He said local small and medium businesses which employ a large chunk of workers 90 percent plus outside the formal sector were now experiencing high operational costs owing to the upward swing of the Kwacha.
Mr Silavwe said if not arrested it was only a matter of time local small and medium businesses start to close unleashing more unemployed people to the already existing 8 million job seekers number on the market. We call on President Hakainde Hichilema and his administration to provide tax, levies and statutory incentives to small and medium businesses so as to reduce the cost of doing business and scale up production.
He said the government would have to cap the price of fuel and electricity plus or minus every six months to return business predictability in estimating operational costs and other business overhead costs.
Mr Silavwe said Government should take over both Gold and Sugilite mining through ZNS to rake in dollars in the treasury to help the Kwacha appreciate against the western currencies.